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In my previous post I wrote about the mystical column of light, the shushumna, as our resource in turbulent times. Aligning our awareness in the subtle physical body in this way is the process of centering. With our awareness we locate our center, the “eye of the hurricane”, and the mind quiets, the body relaxes and we feel at peace. Resting here, we build our inner light, radiating it out into the world.

And our light is needed now more than ever. The density of consciousness and the extreme polarization we see on the planet is our own collective shadow manifest. When we can hold our center in the face of it and commit to maintaining this neutrality, we become spiritual beacons, counterbalancing the shadow of the world.

There are other ways to find our center as well. The practice of yoga will beautifully center the mind, body and emotions. Practiced with mindfulness and conscious breath, the body naturally aligns with the core, our center. Also, the martial arts of Tai Chi and Chi Gong will confer the same benefit. Even a quiet walk in nature naturally grounds us with our center as we begin to feel our connection to the earth and to the elements.

All of these practices involve a silent mind. An activated mind takes us outside of our core state in the shushumna. The thinking mind will actually ride flows of polarized energy that wrap around our central core, keeping us off balance. Try holding tree pose in yoga while thinking about the bill you forgot to pay. You won’t be able to stand on one foot for very long!

Quieting the mind in meditation or with any of the body-centered practices described above neutralizes this polarized flow of energy, bringing it into balance. We align with our inner light in the shushumna and find the peace and natural intelligence that emanates from there.

Trees, vertical and tall, mirror the shushumna of our energy body, radiating their own light out into the world. Near where I live is Muir Woods, an ancient grove of redwood trees. I love finding a quiet place to stand there among these giant sentinels. With their palpable presence, their roots interconnected, these beneficent beings hold the oneness for the world, patiently waiting for us to meet them there.

chakras, gold background

“A river of light, pure intelligence and love flows within each of us. When the river flows fully from head to toes, we feel happy, fulfilled and awake to our true nature as eternal, timeless beings.” Leslie Temple-Thurston

This unique six part series of classes is based on the book “Returning to Oneness – The Seven Keys of Ascension” by Leslie Temple-Thurston (available on – paperback or Kindle)

Listen to a brief audio invitation to the series from Gary here:


Life force energy, also know as prana or chi, flows in the body via seven primary chakras, or energy centers. In these seven classes you will learn a unique set of keys to open the doorways between the chakra levels and awaken the movement of life force energy through the entire body. In our work together you will learn how your limiting beliefs block these flows in the body, preventing you from functioning at your full potential. Group processing and discussion as well as guided meditations will help you to ground and embody these mystical teachings. When used as a regular practice the seven keys become powerful tools for clearing negativity, fear, anger, and victimhood, fostering mental clarity, emotional balance and the luminous presence within.

The classes will be held on six consecutive Saturdays from 10:00am until 12:00pm, October 12, through November 16, 2019, Sutro Heights, San Francisco location.

The series is limited to eight participants. If you should miss a class, a recording of the material will be made available to you. To register please go to

“Thank you for providing the 7 Keys journey for us. It was very powerful, meaningful, and instructive. I felt that you were very in tune with each of us and were able to wisely and gently guide our thoughts, emotions, and questions.”

Amy Tirion, Founder of “Delight for the Soul”




I invite you to join me as we explore the beauty and power of meditation and how you can begin to incorporate a meditation practice into your daily life.

Regular meditation is a way to increase energy. It helps us to release the stress of the day and to calm the nervous system. And a morning meditation gives us energy and inspiration to take on the day!

On a deeper/metaphysical level meditation cultivates our Silent Awareness, which Einstein called the Unified Field, and our true nature beyond the physical.


In the classes you will learn:

  • what meditation is and how it can enrich your life
  • a simple but powerful meditation technique for “transcending’, or detaching from the mind
  • the practical aspects of establishing a meditation practice and supportive practices

In addition, there will be plenty of time to practice the technique within the group over two afternoons and lots of time for questions and answers.

Classes will be held from 2pm – 4:30pm on Saturday May 16th and Sunday May17th at a quiet Outer Richmond district location in San Francisco. Instruction is offered by donation. Suggested donation for the weekend is $75

To register or if you have questions please send an email to

I hope to see you there!

In a conversation last week during our Wednesday night meditation/support circle someone expressed her frustration with her meditation practice because sometimes an issue from her day pops into her awareness and her mind begins processing it. She asked, “Isn’t there a value to meditating “on” an issue that surfaces in the mind?”

I shared that there is an important distinction to be drawn between meditating into the silence by intentionally quieting the mind, and meditating “on” a problem seeking a resolution, which more accurately could be called contemplation. The best approach is to allow space for both, as they both have value, but to maintain them as distinct activities. Quieting the mind in silent meditation is the more powerful use of your time, as the Unified Field of Pure Awareness that we connect with can provide us with the answers we seek spontaneously – in or out of meditation. Universal Intelligence knows exactly how to “speak” to us to provide us with the answers we seek.

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The astrological winds are blowing and I’m being called inward  –  since June’s full moon lunar eclipse and Grand Cross on the 26th, in fact. Potent astrological alignments like this are invitations to go within, availing ourselves of rare super-charged transformational energies. They offer us the possibility of making a leap in consciousness. Personally, I feel like a veil has been lifted. Consciousness has shifted and I am different – oh so subtley, but palpably, the out-picturing of this yet unfolding.

Taking time for meditation each day is in no small way making a bid for spiritual power. In meditation we prepare to meet the Divine, accessing our conscious awareness, and our lives change in profound ways. At the very least, we ride the inevitable waves of change with more ease, grace, and equanimity. If we also incorporate a process of self-inquiry with the intention of processing and clearing our limited personality patterns, we find ourselves accessing greater and greater levels of transcendental light. We grow and change, moving steadily towards Absolute Truth and the experience of what is real beyond the personality.

There are many beautiful writings by sages and mystics who, across time, have written about the benefits of quieting the mind. The Lake of Beauty is a favorite poem of mine by a more contemporary mystic – Edward Carpenter. Can you feel the power of this poem as it calls you home to the truth of your nature – to Self?

The Lake of Beauty

Let your mind be quiet, realizing the beauty of the world,

and the immense, the boundless treasures that it holds in store.

All that you have within you, all that your heart desires,

all that your Nature so specially fits you for — that or the

counterpart of it waits embeded in the great Whole, for you.

It will surely come to you.


Yet equally surely not one moment before its appointed time

will it come. All your crying and fever and reaching out of

hands will make no difference.

Therefore do not begin that game at all.

Do not recklessly spill the waters of your mind

in this direction and in that,

lest you become like a spring lost and

dissipated in the desert.


But draw them together into a little compass, and hold them

still, so still;

And let them become clear, so clear — so limpid, so mirror-like;

at last the mountains and sky shall glass themselves in peaceful beauty,

and the antelope shall descend to drink and to gaze at his

reflected image, and the lion to quench his thirst,

and Love himself shall come and bend over and catch his

own likeness in you.

I had a wonderful silent meditation retreat at Hidden Lake in Oregon I would like to tell you about. The retreat house and environs are lovely, peaceful and charming. The contemporary  craftsman style house sits on a little lake which is fed by a river at one end, then drops precipitously at the other, the waters finding their way seaward. A fish ladder there allows salmon to leap up the stairway to spawn. The grounds are private and protected, held gracefully by a variety of pine and other trees and shrubs, natural and untouched nearer the lake, blending seamlessly into more landscaped foliage up near the house. A variety of bird and wild life visit the property and, as you will see, acted as wonderful mystical messengers for me during my stay. The interior of the house is simple, yet elegant and comfortable, with soft lighting and beautiful uplifting expressions of spiritual art here and there to delight the eye and nourish the soul. In the dining room, a compassionate Quan Yin statue watches over me from the garden. The meditation room is at the rear of the house framed by three expansive picture windows, which face lake and gorgeous scenery. Rows of votive candles ring the room, while a picture of my teacher, Leslie Temple-Thurston, and images of Ramana Maharshi, Buddha, Quan Yin, Ganesh, and Archangel Michael hold space.

When I arrived it was raining, and it poured or four days with rarely a break! Once, the downpour let up enough that I was able to get outside for a walk.  Following the sound of rushing water, I came to the fish ladder with its whooshing torrent cascading down in a blur over the steps. I closed my eyes, immersing myself in the raw power of this natural force. Then, slap, slip, slap! My watery trance was interrupted by another sound. Eyes pop open, and a blur of silvery-pink arrests my attention! I realize a single Coho salmon is finding her way up the ladder, her slippery body slapping against concrete steps. Slap, slip, slap! What a surprise blessing! Later, I am told this is a rare sighting on the property because, unfortunately, Pacific salmon are in decline here. Later, I look up the spiritual significance of the salmon’s appearance: wisdom, inspiration, rejuvenation.

One morning midway in the retreat I experienced a profound energetic opening when the chime sounded signaling the end of meditation. The vibration of the chime acted like an on-switch opening a circuit in me. It felt as if every cell was triggered let go and open to a deeper level of awareness and receptivity. I began to breath deeply to receive and ground these new energies. As this rewiring completed, my breathing relaxed and I slowly opened my eyes. I felt profoundly altered. The vase of fresh flowers on the floor in the center of our circle came into view, vibrating in a kaleidoscope of color. Turning my attention to the window and to the view of of the garden and the lake, in a moment of perfect synchronicity, a majestic Great Blue Heron took flight, gracefully skimming across the water – a lovely spiritual exclamation to my shift! I gazed with a heightened perception, and through the soft veil of rain, nature shimmied with intensified color. Spiritual significance of heron: vigilance, renewal, transformation.

And it continued to rain – persistent showers nourishing the land with a libation to the Mother. Clearly, for us retreatants, the weather was mirroring an inner cleansing process. Then, on the final day, as I completed morning meditation, the room began to brighten. Could it be? Sun? I opened my eyes. Indeed, the sun was rising above treetops! And while my co-inhabitants rejoiced – trees, bestowed with garlands of aqueous jewels, glistened in the golden light and my feathered friends, chatting cheerfully, alighted from tree to tree – this delighted devotee managed to contain his joy in silence.

With sun shining, I was eager to venture out for a nature walk. What a glorious day! A walk in paradise itself: powder blue sky suspending string-of-pearl cumulous clouds, earth greeting morning rays gleefully!

There was to be one final meditation before we would break our silence at lunch. We shared our sense that the effects of our work here were profound and far-reaching. Later, our confirmation came. My friend, Judith, emailed me to say that after I departed, the sky remained clear and blue and over 100 Canadian Geese landed in the lake, staying all day and into the evening! Then the next day after the geese left, a river otter, accepting our invitation, arrived on the lake to play. And she too stayed all day to bask in the light.

In Native American tradition, the otter symbolizes feminine power, grace, empathy, joy, and playfulness! Geese are inspiration, happiness, and providence. Providence – indeed!